Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday afternoon fun

This makes Friday afternoon fun. Apologies for the double up facebookers. I just love how much fun Jack Black is having.


Sprinkling fairy dust here, there and everywhere

As I have just tweeted and facebook status updated, this afternoon is my last in the office for a month. Fear not, this does not mean a month of holidays. For next week tis northward ho to Rockhampton, city of beef, for our annual Retreat. For those of you who may be thinking, "Well Wendy that sounds delightfully relaxing, full of sessions on stress management, meditation and sprinkling fairy dust here, there and everywhere" you are actually quite wrong. It's work. Fascinating sessions about quality assurance, revisions to our program and courses, something mysterious called "embedding graduate attributes" as well as discussing research and many other things. There is also an expectation of collegiality. Good luck with that I say. Expect some slightly cynical and ironic tweeting before the week is over.

However, after next week is over I do have two weeks in Tasmania to look foward to, and then a week at home, napping, reading, musicking and just generally doing nothing at all. The blog may be a little quiet, although perhaps I will be able to do something with my trusty iPhone. Expect photos, photos and more photos.

Of Tasmania, not Rockhampton. Although if you're really lucky I might take a picture of the giant bull that greets visitors to that fair city. Only if you are all good though.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

just life really

I've been uninspired to write any posts this week. Nothing much of consequence has been happening. It's all just the usual stuff. Choir on Monday night followed by watching The Big Bang Theory (which was not the strongest episode I have to say). Then Tuesday night Curb Your Enthusiasm. I will watch Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld do just about anything, but again not the most fascinating of episodes. Wednesday sucked the life out of me somewhat with a day filled with interviewing prospective students for next year. I then collapsed on the lounge (after recording my version of Charlie Chaplin's Smile) and teaching some piano, and then watched Spicks and Specks. It wasn't that exciting either.

This brings us to Thursday - more student interviews, and afternoon working at home, a piano lesson, Glee....and then suddenly in the midst of all this....I am notified that one of our students, who has just completed the program a few weeks ago, has passed away.

Life never ceases to....well...just be life really.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

the ugliest hand painted craft market vase in the world is no more

Dear Harrison

Notice the formality of my greeting to you. The reason for this is the seriousness of this letter. I hope one day you will learn to use your little grey paws to open Firefox and navigate your way to this blog, in order that you understand the full ramifications of your behaviour.

Here are two things I would ask that you cease:

1. Attacking any and all flowers that make their way into this house. This includes both real and fake flowers, flowers that have been given to me, flowers from the garden, single stemmed roses, huge thank you mixed bunches. The only reason you got any dinner this evening was that in eating the rose that I thought I had cleverly hidden in my bedroom all week, you managed to break the ugliest hand-painted craft market vase in the world.

2. Eating lizards and then throwing up on the floor. This is just plain gross and if I had discovered it before the breaking of the ugly vase there would have been a lot more crankiness.

If any of this behaviour continues, we may have to renegotiate our shared living arrangements. This could well involve less time for you to loll about on the lounge, much less playing in the wooden venetians and no climbing up the screen doors in search of elusive geckoes.

your faithful servant


Watch, Listen and Singalong: Part 28: On the Street Where you Live

Just because it's Saturday afternoon.

Friday, October 23, 2009

As we bogans who don't live in metropolitan areas like to say....

I'm sitting here reflecting on wacky, weird and wonderful week.

1. Tuesday and Thursday off work doing nothing except reading, listening to music, playing music. Oh and I did also manage to vacuum the house.

2. A new obsession was born thanks to Youtube. I can now bore my facebook and twitter friends to pieces with neverending iPhone videos of myself playing the piano and sometimes singing. Apparently, I am the 63rd most subscribed to channel in Australia this week. (That required six subscribers by the way). I wonder who was 62nd?

3. Out of the clear blue sky a journalist from Crikey rang me on Monday for a quote. That never happens.

4. Then on Wednesday the producer from the ABC Unleashed site contacted me about writing about John Safran (see post below). It appears there are quite a lot of John Safran fans out there going by the responses to my article. It's very interesting. The only one that annoyed me a little bit was the person who made a slightly derogatory remark about my location in "Central Queensland"...Surprising as it may be to some there is life outside the capital cities. And I liked John Safran's Music Jamboree. Just saying....

5.I arrived home today to find my 1930s songbook had arrived in the post. It's "yuge" as we bogans, who don't live in metropolitan areas, like to say.

Me...Unleashed...on John Safran

I'm very excited because I have had an opinion piece published online at the ABC Unleashed website today. I have been keeping very quiet about it because they contacted me Wednesday afternoon and I wrote it that night. Having had a slight debacle the only other time I tried to write an op ed (with a national newspaper publication that shall remain nameless) I didn't want to talk about it too much in case I jinxed the whole thing. But look, it's real and it's on the net. I won't republish it here but will send you to the site with this link.

Friday just became a whole lot better!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

TV Tuesday

It appears that Channel Nine is showing Curb Your Enthusiasm The Seinfeld Reunion at 9pm. Colour me a little bit excited. If they stuff around with it, or it's the not the real thing, or anything else they can expect to incur my wrath. Well, I'll be quietly cranky at least.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Wendy's on the tube

I did a strange thing yesterday and created myself a Youtube channel. It's me, playing the piano. I have never thought of Youtube as anything else but a site to look up old music videos (and don't worry I'll continue doing that).

Lately, however, I have felt the urge to play the piano, for fun. I had lost my love of doing that throughout the process of the PhD, as well as having the love of playing sucked out of me by doing too many accompaniment jobs up at the theatre and other places. It wasn't until bookclub the other week when I remembered how much I used to enjoy sitting and just playing that I started doing so again. Three things are responsible for this mainly - Gershwin, Leonard Cohen and Daniel Johns. I am currently obsessed with rediscovering the Gershwin catalogue, singing and playing Hallelujah, and joy of joys, singing and playing After All These Years.

Anyway, now I have my very own DYI piano project. I don't claim to be a brilliant pianist ( but I love melody so I think that will dictate the videos I post. It's all very lo-fi...just my iPhone and me. The wonders of modern technology never cease to amaze me and I now adore my iPhone just a little bit more.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Saturday shop-a-thon continues

Well actually this morning it wasn't that much of a shop-a-thon.

And of course there was the usual Indulge breakfast. Mmmmmm. This morning I treated myself to crispy bacon with the eggs. Coffee was perfect.

I did buy three winter tshirts to take to Tasmania in November for 2.86 each at Target. On the chuck out racks at the front. Yes that's correct 2.86!!!

For the impulse option this morning I wandered around Nature's Emporium and bought some cute silver and labradorite earrings. I had never heard of labradorite but the stones change colours depending on the light. I think I shall wear them tonight with my black clothes for our choir concert. I also bought a big silver filigree ring. I love filigree jewellery.

That's all. Extremely restrained. It was probably good that I had checked my credit card balance before leaving the house. Just to give myself a little reality check.

Friday, October 16, 2009

music, music, music

I finally retrieved the following CDs from my car after approximately five years. They began their car life in the green mazda, and when the white toyota arrived two years ago, I didn't bother cleaning out the glove box. I simply transferred its contents to the new one.
Nirvana - From the muddy banks of the wishkah
Billy Bragg and Wilco - Mermaid Avenue
The Beatles - Abbey Road
REM - best of REM 1998-2003. I was also surprised to find in this melted CD case The best of REM pre 1998. Somewhere in my house there is obviously an empty case for this one.
Billy Bragg - Talking with Taxman about Poetry
They Might Be Giants - Flood (case only...Where is the CD?)

Then I decided I would see what had actually made it from home to work. Here's what's in my red CD box on my desk.

An Equal Music Vikram Seth - music from the book. Yes, an odd idea for a CD but it has some stunning music on it, including Vaughan Williams' The Lark Ascending. Plus it's one of my favourite books. Infinitely more readable than The Suitable Boy. The fact that it's about music and musicians is attractive.
Paul Kelly - Songs from the South
Belle Epoque - A Portrait of Gabriel Faure. This was a present from a student.
The Pixies - Death to the Pixies - caseless. I don't know where the case is - perhaps at home.
Australasian World Music Expo - a freebie from a colleague. I haven't listened to it. Maybe I should.
Sweet Sounds of a Sugar Town - Dane Costigan. I haven't listened to this either. Another freebie, locally made and produced.
The classic 100 Piano top 10.
Ben Lee - Awake is the New Sleep - a copy from a friend. That young man can write a pop song alright.
Augadhau Nawal (Songs of our Lord) - Christian Hymns from the Torres Strait. Another freebie that I haven't listened to.
Pete Murray - Summer at Eureka - an illegal preview copy. I listened to this last year during a couple of weeks of marking. Haven't touched it since
Ben Harper and the Blind Boys of Alabama - A copy. I love this album.
Spellbound - A spellbinding collection of classical music. Well that's what it says on the cover anyway. This was 5 dollars on the throwout table somewhere. I bought it because of The Ashokan Farewell which was the theme for Ken Burns' epic documentary on the Civil War.
Nigel Kennedy - The Four Seasons. Vivaldi bad punk boy style. It's fabulous.
Australian Chamber Orchestra - Musical Renegades. I bought this for Richard Tognetti (even though he is a bit of a prat sometimes, he can sure run that orchestra) and for the Piazzolla that's on there.
Seaman Dan - Island Way. Another freebie. Seaman Dan was a discovery of one of the academics who works here. Seaman Dan is now in his late 70s and from Thursday Island. He won an ARIA award a few years ago and just this week has been nominated for another - his last recording.
Wilco - Sky Blue Sky. I haven't listened to this much. Because quite frankly I think nothing will ever surpass Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.
Oh and there's also a burned copy of Simon and Garfunkel's greatest hits, Elvis Costello's Momofuku, a playlist of Classical slow movements, a playlist called Songs from the Car, and two cds called Work Songs. I haven't written down the tracks so goodness only knows what's on those. One gives me a hint with "the Vanishing Spies" but that's it.

A strange collection now I come to look at it properly.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Here tis....

I was going to write an interesting post about my research thingy. Instead I decided to just include the link to the uninews website where they have done that for me already. Here tis.....

Sunday, October 11, 2009

parsley, roses, frozen peas, friends and facebook

Now there's an intriguing post title isn't there.
Note I am not blogging about Australian Idol. Pink night has ruined for ever even though I am keeping an eye on the TV for Harry Connick Jnr.
However, when I wrote my list of things I was going to do today I neglected to include.

Cry as I said goodbye to one of my best friends ever as she drives off into the sunset of Brisbane tomorrow. This occurred this afternoon as she dropped off the remains of her freezer (three packets of frozen peas, two packets of frozen parmesan, butter, camembert and crackers). So she gave me a hug and we both burst into tears. Then she drove off.
I came back inside and in an self indulgent way updated my facebook status to the following "goodbyes are crap. crap I tells you". What followed was a crazy afternoon of webcam photos and comment threads the likes I hope my fb friends never have to suffer through again. Needless to say though I am now much less sad and still slightly giggling.

The events unfolded like this.
Wendy sits watching rage from last night and sees the video for "I want to be a punk rocker with flowers in her hair" or whatever it's called. She goes to youtube and posts it on her facebook profile.

The following comments ensue:
Wendy:no I really do;)
Andy: LOL
Wendy: Why will noone take me seriously
Andy:oh I do Wendy I really do
Emma: omg...a song I actaully know
Wendy: Andy...methinks you are being a little sarcastic
Wendy: Success finally Emma I would like to see you with flowers in your hair
Wendy:just for that i'm going out to the front yard to pick some roses and take a photo....maybe later
Andy:lol go on lol
Wendy: here it comes
Andy:woohoo - a punk rocker that i actually know
Wendy:check the's the worst...on my wall

Which led to me running out to the front garden, picking two roses, putting them behind one ear, taking a webcam photo and posting it on facebook.

That led to the following interchange.
Andy:LOL bet it has made you feel good WENDY DAVIS
Andy:a girl always feels great when they have flowers in their hair
Wendy:Well the bloody roses had thorns in them....but you're right "I felt pretty"...just like West Side Story...HAHAHA
Andy:haha you should have taken the thorns out first ---but yes you do look pretty , oh so pretty - you look pretty , witty and wise
Wendy:hahahaha...I am ACTUALLY loling at that....but can't guys wear flowers in their hair as well?
Andy:i spose they can - i never have ;)
Wendy:Well there's a first time for outside now....
Andy:hahaha there are no flowers around here :(
Wendy:just get a twig...or a weed out the garden or something...COME ON
Wendy:there must be greenery down there on the sunny coast somewhere
Andy: lol i will have a look
Wendy:I'll be waiting.....
Wendy:*taps fingers impatiently on computer desk*

And then...the most wonderful thing. Dear Andy went outside into his garden, picked some continental parsley, placed it behind his ears and took a photo, displaying it on facebook for all to see. I laughed so hard.

And if that weren't enough, I then posted the following status update:
Wendy: it's not every friend who will put parsley behind their eyes and post their photo on facebook. Thanks Andy. I'm still smiling :)

And then had to clarify...."ears" I meant "ears".

Because let's face it, parsley behind the eyes wouldn't be funny at all.

Things I am going to do today

Faff about on the Internet
Washing, drying and putting away of clothes
Listen to music
Have a nap
Remember to put the bin out
Hope that it might rain...perhaps in vain
Watch TV and/or a movie
Tidy up my messy desk
Practice the piano...properly...and then for fun

It's a big Sunday.

ooops...nearly forgot...paint toenails. Clearly that should be top of the list.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A slightly restrained edition of Saturday shopping

Seeing as I spent an absolutely RIDICULOUS amount of money at the hairdressers yesterday, this morning's edition of Saturday shopping was somewhat restrained. By my standards anyway.

One Indulge breakfast and coffee
New pair of long black pants.
A dress... it needs altering as has every dress I have ever owned. Still it was on special and I think my dear mother can manage to sew in some darts or somesuch somewhere.
Some blingy, colourful, junk jewellery. I fear I may have some kind of undiagnosed addiction going here. Perhaps we might call it bowerbird syndrome? Anyway, I found some big multicoloured beads and matching bracelets. They're to wear with my all black gear on Monday. Of course I'll change my mind at least ten times between now and then about what to wear know...whatever.

Oh... and food...but that's boring. Although I did experience perhaps the slowest checkout boy in the history of the universe. Well, the slowest checkout boy at Woolworths at Hinkler Place anyway. There was no way he was hurrying himself whatsoever.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Thursday: It's tiring being happy all day

So today was pretty blooming exciting for a few reasons.

1. I had coffee and cake before work with the wonderful Anne M. This will perhaps be our last coffee before she leaves to live in Brisbane ON MONDAY. I will miss her. Still we are going out for a farewell dinner on Saturday night as well with dear Jinx and Karen.

2. I got the letter offering me the Early Career Research Fellowship. This is an internal grant that will buy me out of approximately half my workload for two years starting June 2010. The plan in a nutshell is to continue researching and writing about the television mockumentary (journal articles, full book proposal), co-supervise a Masters by research student (given I have no supervision experience AT ALL), convene a Special Interest Research Group "Cultural Studies and Education" which belongs to the newly formed CQUniversity Research Centre - "Learning and Teaching Education Research Centre" (LTERC), prepare a grant application for once the Fellowship finishes in 2012.

At coffee Anne had said, "Make sure you let me know how you go with the application". So the phone conversation within five minutes of me opening the letter went like this:

Anne: "Hello Anne speaking"
Wendy: (Shouting excitedly) "I got the thing!!!!"
Anne: (short pause of mystified silence while she wondered no doubt if this was a new form of telemarketing....)
Wendy: "It's Wendy.....!!!"
Anne: "Oh Congratulations...."etc etc.

I probably should have said who I was first.

3. And then to absolutely top off the day, my Silverchair Diorama sheet music album arrived in the post and I was finally able to play "After All These Years". The key changes are amazing, unexpected, and very beautiful. It's too high for me to sing along sadly, but I can pretend along in my head.

All this meant that the minor plague of ants in the kitchen sink didn't really bother me on my arrival home.

I'm exhausted now though. It's tiring being happy all day.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Of Ravel, chopsticks and homemade muesli bars

Today my piano student arrived bearing homemade muesli bars. Sometimes it's bananas, enough oranges to feed an army, mandarins, avocadoes, homegrown lettuce, and at Christmas it was a homemade dark chocolate fruit and nut Christmas tree. That was yum let me tell you. The muesli things are pretty nice too though.

What was even better than muesli bars is that we spent a lot of the lesson on the first two lines of the second movement of the Ravel piano Sonatine. (see and hear above). She's working towards her Grade 8 exam next year. The Ravel is a challenge for both of us. I have not played a lot of Ravel (only the third movement of the Sonatine as well as one of his bird pieces at Uni). And like many I'm not a great fan of the done to death Bolero. So together we are discovering the delights of this piece. And it is just so beautiful.

The other piece we are enjoying is Sonny Chua's Theme and Twelve Deviations. It's a crazily, wonderful piece based on everybody's favourite, Chopsticks. It's long, with each variation recalling a different musical style. We both love it. And she plays it much better than I ever will. That could be because she practices a couple of hours each day. :) It's still a work in progress but here it is:

Sunday, October 4, 2009

What Wendy Watched: Why not Wiggles night?

Pink night?
Here's some suggestions for equally lame themed nights....Britney Spears night, Bros night, Kylie Minogue night, Rick Astley night, Guns and Roses night, Christina Aguilera night, Guy Sebastian night, Shannon Noll night, Skyhooks night (with Red Symons as special guest mentor and judge), Michael Bolton night, Tiffany night, New Kids on the Block night, Wiggles night, Nirvana night, Barry Manilow night, Bob Dylan night (that's actually a serious suggestion), Burt Bacharach night (again I'm serious), You am I night, The Pogues night, van Morrison night, Elton John night, Beyonce night, Queen night, Wham night, Cranberries night, T-Rex night, Velvet Underground night, Cold Chisel night, Madonna night, Jimi Hendrix night, Elvis Costello night, Beastie Boys night, Regurgitator night, The Clash night, ....I could go on....and on.

Nathan: a song I don't recognise..surprise. thank goodness they've got rid of his monster fringe. Ick...little bit out of tune there Nathan darling. Lots of pink balloons...imaginative set dressing. Yes I was bored, but more importantly what do Dicko, Marcia and Dicko no. 2 think? Dicko raving on, Marcia agrees - that's dull. My god they're really talking up this Pink chick. I just don't know if singing loudly automatically equates with angst. But then Idol works by its own special entertainment rules. Dicko no. 2 repeating, repeating, repeating.....'s Scott feeling after being in the bottom three? Scott is being very diplomatic about his dislike of Pink. Apparently he really "appreciates" her a lot more now. Good Scott. Are we going to endure these recap of contestant journeys EVERY FREAKING WEEK?
Let's just sing the songs please. I truly haven't heard any of these songs before. And this one made it to no. 1 in the US. That makes me a little bit sad. I'm not taking enough notice to remember what it's called.

Now for Mr Purple Rain, Stan Walker. Seriously, momentarily, Stan has provided the only interesting moment of the series so far with his big crescendo last week. I can't quite imagine he's going to better that tonight. Yes, let's look at Stan's time on Idol so far. Because that's not getting boring at all....Whose stupid idea was it to involve Delta Goodrem in the auditions? Really, Idol lacks credibility from the get go. It doesn't need any extra help in that department. Stan is getting all political with something about the president. Think Stan has forgotten the words slightly...or is it meant to sound like that? Me not being the Pink expert can't be sure I'm sorry. Okay...enough with the "hard work"...lyric fail. Stan stuffed it up apparently. Oh well...too bad so sad. Oh goodness Dicko...please don't liken that to any kind of protest song. IT WAS LAME. Marcia is giving him "props". *Sigh*

(Wendy is feeling a bit cranky apparently.)

Coming up after the break...Kate...

(in other news I am finishing off the last of the chocolate cake)

Right...Kate....singing something called "Trouble". I know let's recap her journey. Just for something different. Because we haven't seen it every other week SO FAR. It seems everyone is learning "who they really are". Such is the power of Australian Idol.

(Wendy is also being unnecessarily sarcastic it seems)

The repetitiveness of these songs is starting to really peeve me." I know let's write a song called trouble, and then repeat that word as many times as we can". Genius.

Nice fiddle playing though. Seriously. My favourite so far...if I dare use the word "favourite" that is to mean I didn't hate it as much as the others. I'm over the judges comments. I feel mine are far more insightful. HA!

Example: Marcia: "TV doesn't lie"....profound yet also not true. TV does lie actually.

Who's next? Little James..Is he 12 or what? Oh yes I'd love to look at the phone numbers. Because I will NEVER EVER ring one. I did vote once on Dancing with the Stars...for Tom Williams. I've learned my lesson. That will never happen again. I'm wasting time so I don't have to suffer James' story once again. I don't think I ever voted for Grant Denyer. Although, he was excellent on Dancing with the Stars. Those were in the good old days when Daryl Somers was the host. Now it's crap. I mean...crappier.

I actually liked James singing Power of Love. In a nostalgic Back to the future kind of way. Not a Huey Lewis and the News fan kind of way. Oh at last, the song. - "who knew?" Not me.
It sounds like he's right off key at the beginning there. But who am I to criticise? Now we;'re the upper register. Lil James is clearly much more comfortable. Backing vocals kicking in. Thank goodness. James just not cutting it for me. Again, flavoured with blandness. Pathetic ending. Surely they could have arranged something better than that. are WRONG. He didn't do a great job at all. JD...loves watching people grow apparently. In height? I don't think that's happening for James. Dicko - again with the cuteness. Oh at last someone speaking sense...sadly Dicko and I agree.

Stay with us...Mr G is pleading. Okay if you insist.

Kim...She's the poppy one with the matching hair and teeth in whiteness terms. That's twice they've said angst. I am fearful for what this song might bring me.'s see Kim's journey....again...and again...and again.
Family portrait.
At least they're using that nice violinist again.
I think I might be old. These songs lack any kind of subtlety for me, which is annoying because there is place for some of the topics Ms Pink sings about in our contemporary culture.

We're on the downhill run now thank goodness. Only two to go.

But first, we must suffer through some cross-marketing promotional garbage for Rexona. And ads. lots of them.

Mr school teacher Toby. He's cute I'll give you that from the start. But can he sing Pink?? Ooooh the tension and excitement. If he tells us once more how much he misses his class I shall be...well not be sick...but bored at least. I know let's revisit Toby's Idol journey so far. That sounds like an original thing to do. blah blah blah blah blah blah. Just sing it.
Please don't leave me.
Got a U2 kind of backing going here. Yes I can see why this was the last song left after everyone else had picked theirs. Most overused word by Wendy this evening. Boring. Even Toby the Teacher looks bored. Again with the repetitive lyrics "Please don't leave me" x 100.

Marcia ...noone know what you're sayin'... but great job darlin'.... Give me a "g"!

Toby and I are on the same page Pink-wise. He has a "healthy respect for Pink". That's code for..."I don't like Pink".

Last one..Hayley...phew...I SURVIVED.
Funhouse. That sounds like it could i know....let's have a recap of the previous six or so Hayley recaps. There's nothing as interesting as recapping. Seriously. Repetition has been the theme of the evening. Oh she's found herself as well. Nice.

The song...I'm tired...and lost for words. See everything written above.

Cue screaming and cheering....thank god that's over.

Bring on Harry connick jnr week.

I'm not joking.

Sunday morning at the movies: I didn't look at my watch

Been to the movies because for the first time in quite some time because there's been a movie on that doesn't look like complete and utter garbage. Too harsh on the film industry? Whatever....

Let's just say that Mao's Last Dancer is one of my favourite books. A favourite book is one that I have read more than once. All the others are just known as "books". So, I was very interested to see what Bruce Beresford would do with it. I had also watched Margaret and David review it on Wednesday evening. Margaret cried "buckets". David was far more stoic in his reaction. I think my reaction is probably somewhere in between Margaret and David.

I didn't look at my watch....which is always a good sign in a film...but then that may have been because I had forgot to wear it. The telling of the story through flashback was okay. And I know we're not supposed to compare books with movies, but for me the more interesting part of the book was the first part spent in China. Don't get me wrong the US experience of Li is fascinating as well but it seemed to be given greater weight in the movie. Aden Young was unrecognisable as the Texan husband of one of the dancers. And what's with Jack Thompson doing Southern drawl cameos? Is he linked to the funding of Australian movies?

Still it's all about the dancing, which looked fabulous - even for a ballet dunce like myself. Graeme Murphy choreographed. And the final scene of a performance of the Rite of Spring was grea, Having only ever listened to the music it was a treat to see some dancing to go along with it.

If you don't choke up and shed a few tears when Li finally meet his parents after so long, you might just have a heart of stone.

"Hello...what's the time"

Dear Apple Incorporated

Just a quick note to advise that here in Queensland we do not have daylight saving. I mention this only because I was pretty happy when my iPhone alarm went off at 7:35 and then I had a bit of a further sleep in until what I THOUGHT was quarter past eight. Imagine my surprise and confusion when I walked out into the kitchen to see the clock on the wall showing 7:15. Oh well I thought to myself, the battery probably needs replacing. But then, no....I turned on the computer and it too said 7:17 AM. What's going on? I have ultimate trust in your products Apple so of course I presumed that there had been some kind of strange time shift/warp thing going on. Just to be on the safe side I rang my parents. The conversation went like this:

Father: Hello
Wendy: Hello - what's the time?
Father: ummmmmmm (clearly wondering if I had lost my ability to read and tell time).....just after 7.
Wendy: Bugger.

So here's my suggestion. Let us control the time on our iPhones by ourselves. That way on a particular Sunday morning in October I won't be all happy that I had managed to sleep in, only to be sorely disappointed on realising I haven't.

Kind Regards

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Is 20 a short list or a long list?

For me it's an impossible task to answer the question "What's your favourite song lyric?". It's right up there with "What's your favourite movie?" etc. There is no single definitive answer. It changes hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, decadely. So I have managed to narrow down a short list of 20 to take to bookclub this afternoon. We may be there for some time if everyone has had the same problem. I do believe we won't get through them all so I am burning everyone a CD that contains the following. It's focussed on popular song - no opera, no musical theatre etc. For that we would require a weeklong workshop. Also be aware if I were to make this list tomorrow it would probably be entirely different. There may have been a lot of Simon and Garfunkel, some Mamas and Papas, more Beatles, less Billy Bragg, more Beck and REM and much more. You get the idea. Here we go:

1. Four Seasons in One Day - Crowded House - Woodface.
Neil Finn writes perfect pop songs. Melody, lyrics, harmony are always beautiful, deceptively simple in sound. One day he will realise the error of his ways and ask me to marry him. Dream on Wendy.

2. Losing My Religion - REM - Out of Time
One of the first albums I ever bought on CD (and that ages me) and epitomises my first year away at uni as a 17 year old. This was the big radio hit, but the album is full of gems. Even now it takes me back to the residential college in Toowoomba. The mandolin sound makes it shine.

3. Sparky's Dream - Teenage Fanclub - Grand Prix.
Scottish jangly guitar pop. What could be better than that? In the days when I still listened to Triple J it was all over the radio. The whole album is fabulous as is Songs from Northern Britain. I could have picked anyone of them.

4. A Foggy Day - George and Ira Gershwin - sung by Rufus Wainwright in his Judy Garland tribute show.
I have adored the Gershwin songs for as long as I can remember. Once I thought I had lost my big piano anthology of their songs so I ordered a new one quick smart. Now I have two. This is one of my absolute favourites to play and sing, pretending that I might be in a 1940s Hollywood musical. *Sigh* It's never going to happen I know.

5. Waiting for the Great Leap Forwards - Billy Bragg - Worker's Playtime
Oh Billy you're all very serious and political. But the lyrics of this song also make me smile. That's no bad thing. We're all still waiting I think. One day Billy Bragg will realise the error of his ways and ask me to marry him. Dream On Wendy.

6. After All These Years - Silverchair - Diorama.
You know I'm no Silverchair fan, but this song is stunningly beautiful, with an unusual chord structure, soaring melody which is pretty bloody difficult to sing and a poetry to the lyrics that is unexpected. One day Daniel Johns will realise the error of his ways and ask me to marry him. Dream on Wendy.

7. Birdhouse in Your Soul - They Might Be Giants - Flood.
SURPRISED? No I didn't think you would be. I can remember the first time I saw and heard this song. The ABC was running Countdown Revolution 6pm weeknights. My brother and I were watching it as the music video came on. It took me two years before I heard it again. Bundaberg was a backwater at the time so I don't think I was going to find it in Big W. First year uni a friend had the album on CASSETTE which they kindly loaned me. My tape player chewed it up. Ooops. Soon after I bought the CD. (I could have filled the entirety of my selections with their songs but decided that might be unkind on the others.) One day John Linnell or John Flansburgh will realise the error of their ways and one or the other will ask me to marry them. Dream on Wendy.

8. Frank Mills - The Lemonheads - It's a Shame About Ray
I love the story in this short little song. If you've never heard it you need to. It's like a narration of an incident. Only in the last few years have I discovered that it's from Hair. Anyway, Evan Dando used to be very beautiful with shiny long hair. That may have been part of the attraction of the song? Surely not. One day Evan Dando will realise....etc etc

9. Between the Wars - Billy Bragg - from the Back to Basics compilation I have
It's sparse, it's politically direct and sung with conviction.

10. Son of Sam - Elliott Smith - Figure 8
No longer with us sadly, Elliott Smith wrotes beautiful lyrics and melody. Best known for having songs on the Good Will Hunting soundtrack, every one's a winner on this album.

11. What Becomes of the Broken Hearted - Jimmy Ruffin
I adore the epic scale of this song, and love that I discovered through the documentary Standing in the Shadows of Motown which I HIGHLY RECOMMEND TO ANYONE AND EVERYONE. (That's an order by the way).

12. God Only Knows - The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds
The album that inspired the Beatles to pull their collective fingers out and write Sergeant Pepper I believe ( I may be wrong). I adore anything with harmony and this is classic. Plus, apparently they copped some flack for mentioning the word God when it was first released. Something in common with John Lennon it seems. I don't want Brian Wilson to ask me to marry him.

13. Bohemian Polka - Weird Al Yankovic - Alapalooza
Don't get me wrong. I've got nothing against Queen. We studied Bohemian Rhapsody in High School music class. (I think they still do). I appreciate the genius etc. But this just makes me laugh at the portentous, earnest lyrics. And in a funny way, I enjoy them even more. Regarding marriage see the above as for Brian Wilson.

14. The Unwelcome Guest - Billy Bragg and Wilco
The project that resurrected previously unheard Woody Guthrie lyrics. Nuff said really. Sometimes I worry that there is a country music fan hiding inside of me trying desperately to escape. But this is a stunning song. And it's a waltz. I was going to choose Walt Whitman's Niece because it's funnier. Seek it out if you've never heard it. One day Jeff Tweedy will etc get the idea

15. Across the Universe - The Beatles
Put every Beatles song ever written into a hat and pull one out. It could probably be on the list. This one just happens to be taking my fancy this week. One day Paul McCartney....oh no wait...he's a bit creepy these days sad to say.

16.Devil's Haircut - Beck - Odelay
My all time favourite Beck album. I can still remember going into the little CD shop in Hervey Bay and buying it the day after he won a heap of awards. Myself and the red-haird gawky teenage shop assistant had a lovely little conversation about it. One day Beck will definitely realise the error of his di da.

17. Where is My Mind - The Pixies - Surfer Rosa
See comments as for the Beatles. I am forever indebted to my little brother for playing these albums non-stop as they gradually seeped into my subconscious and I recognised them for the all round wonderfulness that they are. One day Joey Santiago....*just stop it it's not funny anymore*.

18. Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana - Nevermind
Yes - I know - the Generation X cliche. Whatever. It's still good. I do not apologise for including it. So there. One day Dave Grohl will arrive at my front door with a big bunch of flowers.....No? Oh Well...

19. Australia - The Shins - Wincing the Night Away
Joyful and comic!

20. Take this Waltz - Leonard Cohen
I am a shamefully late adopter to Mr Cohen. I was put off seeking him out earlier by the memory of a conversation with my aforementioned brother who disdainfully described as a "depressing kind of poet". (NB. that's probably not a direct was many years ago but you get the general idea). I'm annoyed that I let that influence me, because I don't find this music depressing at all. It's melancholy, but a peculiarly hopeful melancholy if that makes any sense. Uplifting, witty, sometimes violent imagery, thoughtful with a great beauty and sense of solace. But not depressing. Again, regarding marriage see same as for Brian Wilson and Weird Al. Leonard and I could be good friends though I think.

If that wasn't enough this afternoon's bookclub is significant for two other reasons:
1. It's most likely Anne M's last bookclub with us before she deserts us for the bright lights of Brisbane. Sad faces all round.
2. In honour of no. 1 Ann H is giving a Devonshire Tea. (Because it's not like I haven't engaged in a foodfest all week long in celebration of my birthday. No sirree. Just what I need are more treats!)

Friday, October 2, 2009

"I don't like this thing...and here's what I'm doing with it"

I could post hundreds of these and have already inflicted a few on my Facebook friends. Don't worry though I'm not going to ( she says with her fingers crossed) but this is an absolute favourite.

Have a great Friday everyone.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Annual Libran Lunch

Today was the Annual Libran Lunch. Three of my friends and I have our birthdays in late September, early October and for the last few years have made a point of getting together for lunch. Of course, we get together for lunch at many other times during the year, but another excuse is always welcome.

Here's something you need to know if you go out to lunch with a group of Librans. It will take them ages to make a decision on what to order. They will agonise over the menu for some time, discussing the pros and cons of each item. Then in the end they will usually go back to what they always have.

Today the venue was the always wonderful Indulge. Two of us (the Anne/Anns M and H) split the mediterranean lamb burger while the other two (Jinx and I) split the BLT. No surprises there. Jinx and I did also share the mini serve of chips with garlic aioli. Mmmmmmm.

Luckily we had decided on the nice, sharing, balanced, all round Libran approach to ordering because unbeknownst (?) to us to three of us, Ann H had nipped into Indulge yesterday and organised surprise dessert for our birthdays. Red Velvet Cupcakes topped with sweetened cream and strawberries were the order of the day. They were very red and utterly delicious. I wish I had taken a photo.

Sadly, this may have been the last of the Libran lunches for the four of us in Bundaberg as one of our number is decamping to Brisbane in a week or two. To live.
However, the three of us will soldier on. Or perhaps we will find another unsuspecting Libran to invite into our exclusive little astrological clique.

Watch, Listen and Singalong: Part 28: You were driving circles around me

It really is quite amazing what pops into your mind in the wee small hours of the morning. I woke up at 4 (yes darned kookaburras again) and suddenly this song was going through my head. I don't own it, I haven't heard it since Triple J used to thrash it all over the radio in the early-mid 90s. Anyway, this is a rejigged version. It's a great song.